Rasmus Dahlin has the Sabres and their fans excited. ©2018, Hickling Images

Coveted prospect Rasmus Dahlin will make Sabres relevant again

TORONTO – With the bounce of a ball, the Buffalo Sabres, one of the NHL’s laughingstocks for years, suddenly became relevant again.

Years from now, winning Saturday’s NHL Draft Lottery could be remembered as a seminal moment in franchise history.

When the Sabres pick Rasmus Dahlin first overall June 22 in Dallas, they will possess arguably the best defense prospect in decades. The Swede has superstar potential. Even at 18 years old – if you ... Read the full article

Phil Housley needs a defenseman like Rasmus Dahlin. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Phil Housley likely has ace defenseman in Rasmus Dahlin

TORONTO – Over Phil Housley’s first season as coach, the Sabres rarely showcased the aggressive style the slick Hall of Fame defenseman wants to implement in Buffalo.

The NHL’s worst team didn’t possess the talent to play fast and move the puck from the blue line the way Nashville Predators did during Housley’s successful stint as an assistant coach.... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin will instantly improve the Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres win NHL Draft Lottery, right to select Rasmus Dahlin

TORONTO – Few expected this would happen. Sure, thanks to their last-place finish, the Buffalo Sabres owned the highest odds – just 18.5 percent – for the first overall pick in Saturday’ NHL Draft Lottery.

But Buffalo teams don’t have any luck, right? The Sabres also had the best odds in 2014 and 2015 and lost the lottery both times.

Then at 10:14 p.m. Saturday inside the CBC building, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly revealed ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville (29) has experienced raucous crowds in Buffalo. ©2018, Hickling Images

Winning will help Sabres generate more excitement at home

BUFFALO – KeyBank Center hasn’t always been the NHL’s quietest venue. When the Sabres roared out of the 2005 lockout and briefly contended for the Stanley Cup during winger Jason Pominville’s first tenure here, the rink was often raucous and among the league’s noisiest.

Of course, 10 or 12 years ago, the Sabres regularly won games and ranked among the league’s highest-scoring teams. If you attended a game, chances are you’d witness something special ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill has a long list of things the Sabres must change. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres GM Jason Botterill ticked off over poor season

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill spoke like a man embarrassed by what he had just experienced and hellbent on never letting it happening again.

Botterill is usually measured in his comments, keeping his emotions in check. But discussing the Sabres’ wretched 31st-place finish this season made him seethe.

The Sabres hired Botterill last year from Pittsburgh, where he won three Stanley Cups in 10 seasons with the Penguins and never missed the playoffs.... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander played his fifth NHL game Thursday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Productive stretch earns Alexander Nylander recall to Sabres

BUFFALO – Four or five months ago, it appeared slick Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander’s second pro season would be a dud.

In rookie camp, Nylander suffered a lower-body injury, costing him more than two months. The former eighth overall pick struggled following his season debut in mid-November, mustering only one goal and four points in his first 12 AHL outings.

But Nylander, 20, started turning a miserable campaign around early in the winter. The winger ... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander has turned around his season. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Physicality helped Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander earn recall

BUFFALO – Four or five months ago, it appeared slick Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander’s second pro season would be a dud.

In rookie camp, Nylander suffered a lower-body injury, costing him more than two months. The former eighth overall pick struggled following his season debut in mid-November, mustering only one goal and four points in his first 12 AHL outings.

But Nylander, 20, started turning a miserable campaign around early in the winter. The winger ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly takes a faceoff Thursday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Phil Housley expects ‘electric’ atmosphere in Nashville

BUFFALO – By the end of Phil Housley’s run with the Nashville Predators, Bridgestone Arena had morphed into perhaps the NHL’s noisiest rink.

A thrilling run to the Stanley Cup final can do that.

So in addition to facing the league’s best team in Housley’s return to Nashville tonight, the last-place Sabres must also deal with a raucous crowd.

“Saturday night in Nashville – any night – but mostly Saturday night, it’s really a tough ... Read the full article

Adam Wilcox has sported a Sabres mask all season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie Adam Wilcox grew up rooting for Dominik Hasek, Sabres

BUFFALO – Early in goalie Adam Wilcox’s childhood, the NHL hadn’t returned to Minnesota yet. So the South St. Paul resident began cheering for legendary goalie Dominik Hasek and, ironically, his newest team.

“Minnesota didn’t have a team, so I always rooted for Hasek and the Sabres,” the loquacious Wilcox said today after the Sabres recalled him from the AHL.

Wilcox, 25, spent time in the NHL last season, dressing as a backup five times ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt (37) drives past Detroit's Justin Abdelkader on Thursday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Casey Mittelstadt records assist in debut, Sabres lose to Red Wings

BUFFALO – Sabres rookie Casey Mittelstadt’s first NHL point wasn’t created by his dynamic speed, adroit passing or supreme hockey sense.

No, 4:51 in the third period of Thursday’s 6-3 loss to the hapless Detroit Red Wings, Mittelstadt, 19, simply won a draw cleanly back to linemate Evan Rodrigues, who beat goalie Jimmy Howard to get the Sabres within one goal.

One game, one assist for the eighth overall pick in 2017.... Read the full article